Depending on who you ask, the tradition of a bride tossing a bouquet is one that goes back many centuries. Some say that before the bride carried flowers, she would carry bunches of garlic and herbs to ward off evil spirits. Eventually, the act of tossing the bouquet to a lucky single female guest would imply that she was next to wed.
When I started this post, I had planned to list several alternatives to the traditional bouquet toss. Many wonderful and creative ideas to keep the energy level going can be found in the book, The Best Wedding Reception…Ever! by Peter Merry. I’m going to leave them there. Why? Because there is one type that I have seen done so many different ways, I felt that it deserved its own spotlight.
Behold…The Breakaway Bouquet!
On average, less than half of my brides are familiar with this newish method of toss. It’s not really all that different, but it does hold a few surprises and can be performed in a great number of ways.
One thing they all have in common is that the bouquet is setup to look like an ordinary toss bouquet. However, as the bride is preparing to toss, and guest are distracted by your MC inviting ladies up to the dancefloor, she will pull a ribbon or binding to reveal anywhere from three to as many as ten small bouquets. The guests are unaware of this, so when the bride tosses it will “breakaway” into several smaller one to catch. Now several ladies have a chance to catch one – but why stop there?
Good Fortune Bouquets
I first saw this while doing a Chinese wedding many years ago. The bride had her florist attach small fortunes to the base of each smaller bouquet, five in all. Much the same way you might open a fortune cookie, the lucky catcher would receive a fortune such as “You will marry the man of your dreams.”
Lucky Money Bouquets
This one is similar to the good fortune, and could even be called the same. In the state of California, we have a lottery full of scratchers and super jackpots. One couple I performed for attached various types of lottery tickets to each of her bouquets so that everyone had a chance to win.
Rather than using small bouquets of flowers, use individual roses. Take it a step further and make them of different colors and sayings that represent those colors (colors and their meanings).
The best part about the breakaway style bouquet is the ability to involve all your guests. Change the wording on your fortune and invite all the ladies – not just the single ones – up to catch some good luck. And who doesn’t like the chance at a little free money (less taxes, of course)?
The Element Of Surprise
Part of the fun with a breakaway bouquet is certainly in the surprise. I would recommend letting as few individuals as possible know. In fact, the only people that probable need to know is you, your MC and DJ, photographer, videographer, and potentially the wedding coordinator (if you have chosen one).